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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Adarkar Wastes
Image from Wizards.com

Pain Lands
- Ice Age

Reviewed Aug. 18, 2015

Constructed: 4
Casual: 4
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 4

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

Click here to see all of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Ice Age Pain Lands

Not only are these cards remembered as the ones that displaced one of the most iconic cycles of cards from Standard, they were also among the first cards involved in the strictly better/strictly Underground Riverworse debates that, nowadays, rarely even get past the part where they try to state the definitions of terms. Actually, the debates about the pain lands probably rarely got past that same point. Is the lack of basic land types a drawback (cf. Nature's Lore) or a benefit (cf. Tsunami)? Is that benefit (or drawback) worth one damage per colored mana activation?

Honestly, it makes my head hurt just thinking about it. This is, though, among my favorite cycles of dual lands, and that includes both the Ravnica- and Lorwyn-era Standards where they were the main dual lands and later casual play. It's not just because power is not one of my prime considerations when it comes to my personal card choices. Over the years, they've gotten some great art, which shows off Dominaria's beauty, danger, and mystery just as much as the Alpha dual lands. (I really like the Fifth Edition Karplusan Forest, with the lava. It doesn't quite fit with the original set, but lava is chronically underused in fantasy settings.) They're perfectly configured with respect to the design expectations of their time - mana from a nonbasic land isn't free, so you give up the fundamental resource of life in exchange. And there are times when we need to be reminded of history, not just the events of flavor text and novels that happened in places like Karplusa and Adarkar, but also the fact that every Magic set owes something to what has come before, including to sets as quirky as Ice Age.

Now, if only the modern designers would look back at these sets and remember that Vikings are awesome . . .

Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 4/5
EDH/Commander: 4/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's cards of the day are the pain lKarplusan Forestands or dual lands that deal one damage to you when tapped.  These are obviously inferior to the original dual lands both in not having the basic land types and in the cumulative damage dealt over time from using them.  They do have the backup option of tapping for a colorless mana which is very beneficial after the first few turns and keeps the land from being unusable later in the game. 

Overall these are solid lands that are useful when the original dual lands aren't available due to cost or format.
Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 4.0

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